50 ways to find sales leads to help scale your digital marketing agency

50 ways to find sales leads to help scale your digital marketing agency
Written by: Karl Sakas

Want more ways to find sales leads at your agency? Here are 50 ways to do it, to help you scale faster!

These work whether you have a single salesperson or a sales team, or if you handle all the sales yourself as the agency owner.

The right combination is up to you. Some require more marketing effort than others, and others trade money for time.

Once you get the leads, be sure to qualify them better, don’t waste time on bad prospects, and create better sales proposals. But first, find those leads!

  1. Offer free informational webinars.
  2. Offer free in-person educational seminars.
  3. Have email signup forms on your website.
  4. Seek speaking engagements at other organizations.
  5. Do event sponsorships (especially where you get an opt-in list of participants).
  6. Run PPC ads.
  7. Do on-site and off-site SEO.
  8. Be active on social media.
  9. Exhibit at a tradeshow.
  10. Attend a conference without doing a booth, to meet people on your own.
  11. Rent a mailing list.
  12. Use the LeadFeeder service to cross-reference Google Analytics and company names.
  13. Blog at Forbes.com—here’s the contributor application.
  14. Guest blog for other industry-related websites (including industry associations or magazines).
  15. Add the SumoMe plugins to your website to collect more email list signups.
  16. Send paper notecards to your email list’s most-engaged subscribers (assuming they’re people at good-prospect companies)
  17. Offer an online Office Hours (with rotating members of your team) with free answers to digital marketing questions. Most won’t convert, but a few will, all from 1-2 staff hours a week (plus your work to promote it).
  18. Look at your best clients’ LinkedIn profiles and check out the sidebar of recommended LinkedIn profiles.
  19. Ask existing clients for referrals (optionally via a formal referral/commission program).
  20. Review your list of old clients (ones you haven’t worked with in a long time) and pitch their competitors while referencing the [public] results you got for the competitor.
  21. Review your list of old clients (ones you haven’t worked with in a long time) and get back in touch to see if they need additional work or to pitch them new services you may now offer.
  22. Pitch companies that hired a new CMO. Track client-industry publications, along with marketing publications like AdAge, Adweek, Ca Campaign US, and The Drum.
  23. Share marketing advice in industry-specific Tweetchats.
  24. Buy a billboard.
  25. Review the Fortune 500, Inc 500, and similar lists for large (or fast-growing) companies with nearby headquarters.
  26. Review portfolio sites of venture capital firms, to identify well-funded startups.
  27. Attend marketing association meetings.
  28. Develop and promote a free or low-cost product that helps people get started on their marketing work… but where many will want your help finishing things.
  29. Create a new ebook or report targeted at prospective clients on a pain point outside of marketing that shows you understand their industry.
  30. Create a report that helps prospective clients measure how they stack up to their competition when it comes to a specific type of marketing (social media, content marketing, adwords, etc).
  31. Create case studies for each of your best clients and/or for clients with impressive measurable improvements thanks to your agency’s work.
  32. Write a blog post with the top 10 influencers in your niche market—include 1-2 existing clients, but also include companies you’d like to work with; email them to let them know they made the list.
  33. Look for industry associations that publish a list of members, even if you don’t ultimately join the association yourself.
  34. Check out opportunities for sponsoring associations for your target niches.
  35. Ask each member of your team to think of someone in their network who might need your services who is also in your target niche—they may surprise you!
  36. Create an internal referral program for employees who share sales leads with your salespeople that ultimately convert.
  37. Search press release websites for releases in your local area—businesses that have big news and/or who are paying for PR services, may be looking for other marketing services as well.
  38. Share content via Outbrain.
  39. Cross-promote your content—or offers—with other firms who target the same market but who aren’t competitors to your agency.
  40. Answer questions at online forums, LinkedIn groups, or other message boards that are popular with your target market.
  41. Share a “freemium” product that’s available free to your list for a limited time, before becoming a paid product.
  42. Add a call-to-action (CTA) in your email signature that points to your squeeze page. Use the Wisestamp service to add an upgraded layout to your signature.
  43. Run a crowdsourcing contest, to get input on a new service. Be sure to follow FTC guidelines on social media contests.
  44. Do pro bono work, to get new attention while you give back.
  45. Stay in touch. Are you sending birthday cards, calling current contacts to say hello, and doing other non-business activities to stay top-of-mind?
  46. Use social-sharing tools on your site to make your content easy to share.
  47. Join (and become active) in your clients’ industry associations. Local chapters have networking meetings, and national organizations run conferences with other opportunities.
  48. Require opt-in access to intriguing video content. Wistia’s Turnstile feature lets you add email opt-in forms to videos, and can time the opt-in to match an audio CTA you build into the video.
  49. Offer upgraded versions of blog posts in exchange for an email address. For example, Quote Roller created a list of SEO-oriented business directories in Australia. The list post was getting over 800 visits/month but wasn’t producing leads. Quote Roller  added an email opt-in to share a copy of the post in PDF format, which produced up to 5 new leads a day.
  50. Create useful, entertaining quizzes that people want to share with others. Be sure to do it right to get leads. There are many clever ways to come up with quiz ideas.

Next Steps: How to Find Sales Leads

Which of the 50 are you using now? Which of the 50 are you going to try using? I challenge you to pick 5 new methods and test them in the coming month.

Question: Which new 5 are you going to use to find sales leads?

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